SW World 2007 Day 3 Morning (and Day 2 PM & Event)

Well three days have come and gone like it was one. I discovered last year that with all the information that available here, the days tend to run into eachother, and it makes it feel like one fun day.

But lets go back and wrap up day 2, and the offsite event. Like every other day here the after noon was filled with three great sessions. The most informative for me was a 3-D Sketching made easy. I had very little knowledge of 3-D sketching, and rarely used it. The presentation was excellent. I walked away feeling that I can now utilise this tool when I need too. My biggest complaint was that it was only an hour long session.

The day wrapped up with a conga line of busses parked out in front of the convention center. There were a total of 60+ busses that were said to be dedicated to moving SW World Attendes to the offsite event. At about 55 passengers each bus, thats 2400+ people. Mardi Gras World is an intresting place. Its a place where they build mardi gras floats. It was neat to see them up close. In true SW World fashion, there was plenty of beer, wine, and mixed drinks to go around for everyone. All in all, and grat event, and I cant wait to see how they top it next year.

So the Day 3 general session started out with the mad dash from the doors to the seats. But what im sure is to to the open bar at the offsite event, the crowd seemesd to be a tad bit smaller.

The session began like the past two days with the introductory video, and Jeff Ray took the stage. He spoke about the events of the past few days, and almost immediatly introduced the product development team to preview SW 2008 for every one.

On stage was what looked like a set from Star Trek. Som in a Star Trek show like production, the presentation began. So here is a list in the best way I can descripe it without being here:

  1. Fast Preview- They opened a 2000 part assembly on the screen. Graphically all the parts were there, but it only took 5 seconds to do. In the feature tree, none of the items had been fully loaded, but they were there on the screen, and you could show or hide them. Once they picked out certain items, they finished opening the assembly, but only those parts shown were there. So its a tool to aid in the opening of large assembly files. The same file takes over a minute to load in

  1. Hole Alignment Check- They showed a model of a tape gun that is used to tape shut boxes. They mated a support arm that had three holes. They mated two of them to the body, and you could obviously see that the third was misalligned. They activated the Hole Alignment Check tool, and SW found the hole, showed the dimension that was wrong, and gave them the chance to change it. Its a tool that will help to validate the design of an assembly before it is approved.

  2. Group Filletts- Building on the success of the SWIFT technology, the fillett command is once again getting more abilities. You can now copy and past filletts from edges to edges, when you fillett a corner, and it wraps up onto an edge, you can you have the option to select how it looks from graphical icons that show up. Filletts have long been a feature that has been very difficult for people to understand, and this makes it one step easier to making it simple.

  1. Auto Tolerancing DIMXPERT- The "XPERT" series in 2008 expands into toleranching. By selecting a few faces, SW is now able to auto dimension, and auot tolerance a part, and then place those callouts into a drawing for the user.

  2. BOM Help- BOM sees like its the area that got the biggest upgrade of all. I personally am excited by some of the stuff I saw. When you have a BOM, and you edit one of the cells, that will now automatically also edit and update the coresponding custom property in the part file. The BOM table continues to act more and more like a true Excel spreadsheet. You can drag and move rows and collums, along with easier placement.

  1. Drawing Items- When you create a note, and you want it to reference a balloon, while in the note, you simply click a balloon, and that balloon appears in your note box. Text boxes now behave like a picture with drag and resizing handles on a pictur file. Have a note that hangs out of a box? All you do is grab the edge, and drage it down to size without having to adjust font size. You will also be able to copy and paste drawings in a multi sheet drawing.

  2. Direct Editing- Probably the biggest hit is the Direct editing. Imagine you have a fillet on a part, and you wanna change it. Now all you have to do is click on the surface, and a drag handle appears, and you can drag it to size. This was shown to work on bosses, cuts, everything you would normally want to change. Its an exciting tool that has lots of potential. What was even better, they were doing it on an imported solid!

  1. Mechanical Mates- New mates include: Screw Mates, Linear Coupling, and Path Mates. You can also replicate parts in an assembly, and SW will automatically identify the mates needed, and create them for you.

  2. New add-ins- Driveworks Xpress will now be included with basic SW as well as Flow Works Xpress.

So along with a bunch of other little tidbits, the sneak peak was a great success. I would incourage you to brows some of the SW blogs as im sure there will be lots of info there too.

So what about SW World 2008?? Well it wasnt a very well kept secret, by Monday afternoon, the word was spreading fast, but in an effort to not spoil it for anyone here, I kept it to myself untill now. So make you plans now, and leave the jackets at homw, SW World 2008 is heading out west to San Diego Jan 20-24 2008. For me that means I can drive instead of fly, and I will be somewhat familiar of where I am.

So im off to lunch, then the last two sessions for this year :( Look for my wrap-up post later on tonight along with the list of top 10 enhancement requests from this year.

Thanks for following along.

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Thanks again for the update. Did they mention when the beta release would be available for SW 2008?

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Gluttons for punishment and competitive skulkers are already lurking?


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They didnt mention anything about Beta. From what I hear, they arent even in Alpha, so its up in the air. The new functionality look really great though.

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Probably just another one of us who usually find that the positives of a new release outweigh the negatives. For example, being able to push data from the BOM into custom properties could save tons of time if it works at anything like a reasonable speed. Not that the bugginess of SW isn't frustrating...

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Dale Dunn

Thanks Dale....! You answered the question for me. I agree. Although SW can be very quirky at times, I look forward to seeing what new functionality they add to possibly improve my daily workflow. Being able to enter custom properties right in the BOM is a great example of making my day less tedious and prevent potential errors. Also, there would be a lot time spent finding "work arounds" for what SW couldn't really outright do. But it's good to see they really are trying to answer back to what we have been needing for a while. Don

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In the example they did live on screen, they double clicked a BOM cell, changed the info, then right clicked the row and clicked the open shortcut that was introduced in 2007. That opened the model, and they went to file>properties, and the info was there. So it took no longer then the series of mouse clicks to get there. I know for me, having this ability will be a huge time save instead of having to open the solid, edit the properties, then go back to the sheet and wait for it to load again.

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I was wondering how long it would take them to implement direct editing. The competition has had it for a couple releases already.

I'm interested in the additional mates, specifically the screw mate. I've put in enhancement requests for screw mates for several CAD packages I use. My intent is because I need to define the start point of the lead-in of the thread so when it bottoms out, the inserted part aligns correctly. A "screw" mate that translates for every rotation based on the pitch of the thread (that is already defined via the hole command) is my ideal assembly relationship. Is this what SW did?

Any info on whether or not DimXpert is going to be developed into a true tolerance stack-up/analysis tool? Where I can check assembly interferences at LMC and MMC without having to change the model's base dimension?

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